Mason City | Inducted 1990 | Category: Amateur Golfer

Ann Casey Johnstone kicked off her amateur career with her first major win at the 1941 Iowa Women’s Amateur, starting an impressive 20-year run in amateur golf. With six Iowa Women’s Amateur titles, national success and three Curtis Cup appearances to her credit, Johnstone is one of the greatest players the state has produced.

Johnstone won those six Iowa Women’s Amateur titles over an 18-year period. Only Corkey Nydle, another Iowa Golf Hall of Famer, won the prestigious title six times. Ann’s sixth and final Iowa state title, in 1959, was special to her.

“The reason it was so important was that it was done at Mason City Country Club, my home,” she said.

Club members had made her a lifetime member of the club two years earlier. Ann also won her second Iowa Women’s Amateur title, in 1951, in Mason City.

Ann started making a name for herself nationally in 1956, when she won the Palm Beach Invitational and was a semifinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. A year later, she was presented the Dorothy J. Manice trophy as the nation’s outstanding female golfer after finishing a runner-up in four big events – the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Trans-Mississippi, Women’s Western Open and North and South. She jokingly called that her “Bridesmaid Year.” She was named Iowa’s No. 1 golfer that year, male or female, by the Des Moines Register. Ann remains the only Iowan to ever make it to a U.S. Amateur final.

She would win the Trans-Mississippi and North and South titles in 1959, the same year she won her final state amateur title. Her Curtis Cup appearances came in 1958, 1960 and 1962. Johnstone became the golf coach at Stephens College in 1964, a job she held for 28 seasons. She was named LPGA Coach of the Year in 1982 and inducted into the National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1986. She was the charter inductee in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1986, and entered the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame in 2004.

Click here to read article from USGA after Johnstone’s passing

Career Highlights

  • 1956, ’60 U.S. Women’s Amateur Semifinalist
  • 1957 U.S. Women’s Amateur Runner-up
  • 1958 U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist
  • 1941, ‘51, ’54, ’55, ’57, ‘59 Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion
  • 1956 Palm Beach Invitational Champion
  • 1958, ’60, ‘62 U.S. Curtis Cup Member
  • 1958 D.J. Manice award for Outstanding Amateur Golfer
  • 1959 Trans-Mississippi Women’s Champion
  • 1959 North and South Amateur Champion
  • 1959 Women’s International 4-ball Champion
  • 1963 Iowa Wife-Husband Champion
  • 1966 LPGA T&CP Teacher of the Year Award
  • 1976 Iowa Sports Hall of Fame induction
  • 1982 LPGA T&CP Coach of the Year Award
  • 1986 Inducted to the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame
  • 1996 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award
  • 1997 NCGA’s Gladys Palmer Rolex Meritorious Award
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